Briefings: Republicans’ Brown Out…
There is a great deal more to be said about former Republican Senator Scott Brown bowing out of another special election race. In particular there is will be a look at what the Massachusetts GOP’s options are (hint: they all stink!) and a longer coda on senate career of the man who served a reverse-Palin half-term in office.
However, it is impossible to not consider this a blow to Republicans. After Brown’s hand-picked candidate to chair the party barely limped across the finish line, Kirsten Hughes received a steaming pile of a gift from her patron: finding a candidate who, let alone win, will not embarrass the party in the June election.
There is a school of thought that Brown was also not that popular in his own party after last year. Hughes’s difficult win is part of the evidence, although her opponent Rick Green pledged full support to getting Brown elected to something. However, sources in Western Mass have lamented Brown’s rather cavalier attitude toward those that got him to Washington. In addition to that, he had almost nothing to offer to down ticket GOPers, and apparently did not try either. As others have said, Brown did as Romney did. Pick a loyalist to lead the party who can turn it into an arm of his campaign, incapable of giving must-needed institutional support for Republicans further down the ballot.
On some level, the writing was more on the wall than many, especially in the state GOP, realized. The Boston Globe reported this morning (via Salon.com) on the last-ditch effort by national Republicans to get Brown to run. Clearly, they failed. Sharp followers of the situation would know the Globe said about the same thing, minus the DC Republican freak-out, last week. However, there was the Associated Press report saying he was “strongly leaning” toward running. Not to besmirch the AP, but the Globe, which has hardly the relationship with Bay State Republicans the Boston Herald has, got it right first. Somebody was feeding the AP garbage, or in light of the Globe’s story today, Republican wishful thinking.
Even the bizarre Twitter belch Scott Brown bellowed last weekend, particularly its “Yes. Get ready!” seems more innocuous. Rather than telling supporters to “Get ready,” Brown could have been projecting his interior monologue and psyching himself up to get up out of bed and go somewhere.
While some are saying Brown gave Massachusetts Democrats a gift, and he did provided they remain as guarded as if he were running, the party is hardly out of the woods. The people at the top seem aware of this, retweeting a faux-press release of theirs “Scott Brown Set to Announce Campaign to Slow Down Pesident Obama’s Agenda,” altered with Brown’s name struck out and replaced with “Some Republican.” The party still must survive a primary and continue to work through the six week sprint afterwords, without disintegrating over hurt feelings.
Tomorrow it will be Rep. Markey’s turn, despite declaring much earlier, to travel the state on a kickoff tour. Yesterday, Rep. Stephen Lynch did that stopping at O’Brien’s Corner in Springfield before going onto Worcester and Boston. Markey will start his day in Malden before traveling to Worcester and Springfield. He is expected to visit the Student Prince/Fort at about 3:15 PM to meet voters as the primary begins in earnest.